tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC May 7, 2011 7:00am-8:00am EDT
right now on msnbc saturday, what did they find? new insight expected today on the intelligence recovered from osama bin laden's secret compound. >> we are going to ultimately defeat al qaeda. we have cut off the head and we are going to defeat them. paying tribute, president obama meets navy s.e.a.l. teams and thanks team six, thanking them for the attack on osama bin laden. the falling prices, why the cost of gas and groceries could soon go down. love me do. a former beatle gets ready to give marriage another go. plus, derby day. we have a live report on favorites for the run for the roses. good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. the pentagon is expected to release in ssome new details to about the trove of intelligence gathered at osama bin laden's secret mansion in pakistan. it could include details of what life was like for the terror
leader inside that compound. meanwhile, the new york times s confirmed a drone strike in yemen this week, first in that country since 2002 targeted the cleric anwar al awlaki. the evidence seized at bin laden's fortified compound is being called most valuable break in intelligence our government has ever seen. in just a short time from now, the pentagon is set to discuss new details surrounding the intelligence gathered during the raid that killed the world's most wanted man. i'm joined by mike baker, former covert field operations officer for the cia. good morning to you. let's talk about the nature of the intelligence we may see later today. first up, how much do you expect the pentagon to reveal? >> hopefully not much.
i'll be honest with you, i don't even see why there should be a press conference to talk about this. in a sense, obviously i'm coming from this from a particular background having worked for the agency. there is a need to know issue here. and there is -- unless there is information related to threats to homeland security, that would then go out through the normal standard channels to be released to the general public, if they determine there is something imminent, the rest of the information falls in the category of need to know. and i don't think there is a need to know on the part of the public, frankly, at this stage. >> is there anything, though, that you think needing to know will help make us safer? >> well, sure. if there are indications there of, again, of imminent threats, if there was an operation that was in the final stages and they confirmed that it was credible, again, we have a process in place that gets that information out to our local and our state and our federal authorities. they make that decision as to whether that then goes out to the general public to, you know,
increase the awareness or the alert status. but all the other information, you know that may relate to the inner workings of al qaeda that could be considered actionable intelligence, you know, that has a place, that place is with the personnel responsible at the front end of the spirit to try to take this organization down. >> okay. how about in terms of our safety. are we safer with bin laden gone and who do you think is the new number one threat? >> i think to reverse those, i think the threat remains the same. it is still al qaeda. it is still the extremists, the jihadists, who, you know, haven't shifted from their position because bin laden's been killed. i think always safer because of the operation to take down bin laden. i think we are in a number of respects. in part, it will be due to this information that we were just discussing. there is the potential, we don't know that, but there is the
potential for enormous amount of actionable intelligence directed toward individuals that perhaps before now we didn't have a lead on, understanding of their financial issues, communications patterns, training and safe house locations. there is a lot of information that could ultimately make us much safer because it will lead to a speedier takedown of al qaeda as an organization. >> do you think, mike, we would have learned anything farther had osama bin laden been taken alive or was he the kind of al qaeda operative leader that would never have given things up? >> that's a great question. it is one of those questions that will probably obviously never have an answer to. i would never, ever think of second guessing the teams on the ground that carried out this operation, made decisions in split second timing. in terms of his motivation to talk, we have to remember that the rules of engagement changed. we are operating under the arm field manual now in terms of
interrogation. he knows -- he knew that, the entire al qaeda organization followed that issue very closely. so i suspect that he would have sat for a very long time without seeing any need to cooperate. >> all right, mike baker, great to speak with you. thank you for your insights. appreciate that. in a few minutes, we'll get a live report from ann curry who is in pakistan. we're also going to take you to the white house for more on the president's meeting with those navy s.e.a.l.s. meantime, residents in midwest are agonizing over whether to flee the rising mississippi river and it only appears the situation will get worse before it gets better because the river is not expected to crest until next week. farms, small towns and urban areas are already under water including parts of memphis, tennessee. >> i've got a lot of my mom's stuff in there. i don't know if i can even get in. you can only do what you can. >> and joining me live on the phone now, dean fleener.
good morning to you. let's got an update. how bad is the flooding in the memphis area? >> we are expecting the memphis mississippi river at memphis to crest next wednesday at 48 feet, which is a record level. and what we're trying to tell people is that if local officials come by your home and ask you to move because of an imminent threat of flooding, please leave because nothing is worse your life. >> absolutely. are you finding people that are being resistant to that? >> well, we haven't had reports of resistance, but we have -- we do have local officials up and down the western part of tennessee along the mississippi river, going to communities and homes where the flooding threat is going to hit, asking people to evacuate in order to protect lives. >> yeah. you know that woman that we just played a sound bite from who lost a lot of things, she tried to get back into her home. she was going into leech-filled
water and trying to get back in and save some of her mother's possessions the at what point are people able to get back into their homes and do you find people try to skirt around officials during times like this? >> well, what -- this is going to stay around for a little while. the thing about floods like this is that you do see them coming. they do leave a lot of property damage in their wake and they stick around for a while. and what we would like people to do who leave is to come back only when local officials say it is safe to come back. we take that very seriously. we take protecting lives very seriously. we have many fine first responders and local officials down in memphis, shelby county, whose number one priority is protecting people's lives. and they take it very seriously. >> well, we're glad they do. dean flener, we'll be watching. best of luck to you. thank you for talking with us. back to bin laden and new
details this morning on the terror leader's years of hiding in plain sight. nbc's ann curry is live in islamabad, pakistan. what are we learning? >> reporter: well, alex, good morning to you. today we're learning that multiple pakistani intelligence sources are reported there eedl that one of osama bin laden's wives now in custody said they lived closer to islamabad before moving to abbottabad. this can only fuel tensions between the united states and pakistan. coordinated protests denouncing the u.s. raid that killed osama bin laden struck multiple cities in pakistan on friday. as al qaeda reacted for the first time, threatening americans on its official media website. quote, soon with god's help, we
shall flip their celebrations into sorrow, and their blood shall mix with their tears. >> in al qaeda's language, soon could be anything from the next three days to the next three years. it is very difficult to know and it is important to emphasize that al qaeda uses this language whether or not they actually have an attack in store. >> reporter: these images are the newest from inside bin laden's compound, where u.s. intelligence officials tell nbc news, bin laden was far from retired and was, in fact, still al qaeda's operational leader. u.s. intelligence also tells nbc news "a lot of video as well as detailses of plots around the world and associates were found." local intelligence officials in abbottabad say the compound is now cleansed, washed of all evidence and sealed. there are reports that pakistani security has as many as three of bin laden's wives in custody. now under interrogation. the cia has asked pakistani officials for access to the wives, especially to amal a
amal al assada, his last and favorite wife. she was known to be devoted to bin laden and was in the room when her husband died. and she reportedly told interrogators that bin laden and his family had been living in the abbottabad compound for the past five years. the new york times is also reporting this morning that u.s. officials have demanded that pakistan identify some of its top intelligence operatives to see if they had any contact with bin laden in recent years. this as some officials in the united states have publicly questioned whether anyone here knew where he was hiding and helped to shield him, alex. >> ann, to that end, i've watched your reporting from there, and you're asking really tough questions of intelligence officials there, and exponentially that has to be asked from the united states as well. let's look at just the difficulty of the pr war between these two countries. >> reporter: exactly, alex.
you hit the nail on the head. what seems to be happening or shaping up is two very different narratives. the pakistani intelligence are painting a narrative. they're not allowing themselves to be named. we want to make that point. but what they're saying is that -- they're describing osama bin laden as being a man who is sort of not involved in al qaeda, sort of, you know, was unarmed, you know, sort of in a situation like that. and you've got on the other hand, you've got the united states intelligence who are also feeding the story that osama bin laden was in fact very much in control, was the -- was basically the operational leader still of al qaeda, waking up every morning thinking about how else he could attack america. and also that he had a kalishnikov nearby. you have a different narrative shaping up between the two in a
clearly deliberate pr war with a lot at stake because the whole world is watching. this is an emotional development, the takedown of bin laden. can you tell us about that strange helicopter that we saw, this health helicopter? >> reporter: it is described as a new kind of stealth blackhawk helicopter. it is pretty much all we really know about it, except sort of drips and drabs. we know as we have been reporting all week that the team that took out osama bin laden blew it up, but we have been finding all week that children have been finding pieces in the fields. we saw with our own eyes a piece about the size of a football. we can confirm to you that u.s. military is confirming to us they have asked pakistan for the pieces that remain, which is very interesting point, but also that the chief army spokesperson is saying that he knows nothing
about this. so it remains to be seen. we can tell you a lot of those pieces have been sold off by those children to different people here. >> very sensitive times. nbc's ann curry, thank you for the report. for first time, the president met with the elite military squad who carried out the strike on osama bin laden. while their identities are secret, president obama warned those soldiers the highest honor for the unit. he praised the work of all u.s. forces. >> we're making progress in our major goal, our central goal, in pakistan, and afghanistan. and that is disrupting and dismandeling and we're going to ultimately defeat al qaeda. we have cut off the head. we're going to defeat them. >> nbc's athena jones is at the white house for us. good saturday morning to you. what is the latest on this front? >> reporter: good morning, alex. by all accounts it has been a momentous week for the white
house. the aides here say the president thought it was important to end the week by thanking the team that carried out the mission against osama bin laden and the men and women in general in the armed forces. capping off an historic week -- >> on behalf of a grateful nation, welcome home. >> reporter: russia -- president obama travelled to ft. campbell, kentucky to visit with u.s. troops returning from afghanistan. and to meet behind closed doors with members of the team that stormed osama bin laden's compound, including the s.e.a.l. who shot bin laden. >> it was a chance for me to say on behalf of all americans and people around the world, job well done. >> reporter: mr. obama awarded the assault force a presidential unit citation, among the military's highest honors. after a series of solemn events, friday's was more jubilant. in the audience, members of the 101st airborne, a division that has seen plenty of action in
afghanistan. the president warned the war against al qaeda and other extremists is not over. >> the bottom line is this, our strategy is working and there is no greater evidence of that than justice finally being delivered to osama bin laden. but i don't want to fool you, this continues to be a very tough fight. you know that. >> reporter: with the world's most wanted terrorist dead, this soldier, just back from afghanistan, feels a sense of accomplishment. >> satisfaction, some of my soldiers that didn't make it back felt like they did something for them, and we got the job done for those guys. >> reporter: back to you, alex. >> okay. athena jones, thanks so much. more from you later. a closer look at the information found on computers inside some of bin laden's compound and the details on what may be al qaeda's next terror target. crime on camera. a convenience store targeted by
fresh, delicious coffee in under a minute. way to brew, hon. [ female announcer ] choose. brew. enjoy. keurig. mom! ♪ i know i can count on you ♪ sometimes i feel like saying... ♪ mom! mom! [ male announcer ] you know mom. we know diamonds. storewide now through saturday, we'll make this mother's day one she'll never forget. momma! [ male announcer ] that's why only zales is the diamond store.
officials in vegas are calling it a swarm robbery at a convenience store. the store's owner says at least 35 people entered at the same time, took mostly what they wanted. he says about $600 worth of merchandise was stolen in less than four minutes. police used the surveillance video to identify everyone involved. who does that? in his final days, osama bin laden was either an active leader of a global terror network or a cash-strapped has been, barely clinging to fire. which version is the truth?
the ceo says documents discovered in the raid shows bin laden played a strong role in al qaeda, up to the end. michael sheehan is a terrorism analyst for nbc news and joins me now. give me a gut check on this. how do you come down on this? what is your read? >> is no question that the u.s. government, the evidence is all pointing in that direction. it is surprising that a lot of people thought bin laden may have had a lesser role in the aspects of al qaeda. that's been the conventional wisdom. that seems to be changing rapidly now. >> one thing i'm surprised to hear about, you remember at the outset of the hunt for osama bin laden, he was a man who was getting dialysis for kidney failure, and we all had to contemplate how he would go from cave to cave carrying a dialysis machine and thought that improbable. there was nothing found according to reports thus far that indicated any sort of kidney problem. what does that say about intelligence and the reality? >> i think the kidney issue had
been discarded by the intelligence community many years before. but, again, looks like his health was very, very good, even though he looked weak and a little frail in some of the videos, he seemed to be of robust health until the nine millimeter rounds went into his head. >> among the information we're getting from the treasure trove of documents and cds and all the research they have gotten, a plan for an attack on the tenth anniversary. nothing necessarily in stone, but indications that rail would be vulnerable to an al qaeda attack. >> right. that wouldn't surprise anybody particularly new york city. when i was at nypd, we were aware that al qaeda attacked the subway sim in london, madrid, railroads have been a major concern. the fact that they used 9/11 as their date is a little out of their modus operandi. but an operational plan goes by its own tempo, not by dates. >> let's talk about the
information that may be gleaned from osama bin laden's wives with whom they're speaking, in particular, the youngest wife, the one with whom he was with when died. >> we're trying to get information from them. i imagine it will be a little difficult now, relations are very strained. but those women are going to have a lot of information, even if they don't know it. little tidbits of information, names, aliases, locations, things that they may have heard or heard about the state of bin laden's operational activity, very, very important. but most important thing, alex, out of this information, names, aliases, locations, phone numbers, computer access, location camps. this is the most important takedown of information probably since 2003. i expect information coming from this takedown to run operations around the world for the days, weeks and even years ahead and hopefully it is going to continue to debilitate significantly al qaeda's
operational capability. >> michael sheen, we'll have you later this morning. thank you. april's unemployment report came in unexpectedly strong. we'll break down the numbers next. a's natural gas. and here's what we did today in homes all across america: we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at anga.us. i knew for years before i quit that i needed to quit,
and i went online to find a way. ♪ chantix -- it's a non-nicotine pill. i didn't want nicotine to give up nicotine. while you're taking the medication, for the first week, you can go ahead and smoke. [ male announcer ] prescription chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. [ mike ] when i was taking the chantix, it reduced the urge to smoke. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these symptoms or behaviors, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop serious allergic or skin reactions, stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away, as some of these can be life-threatening. dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. until you know how chantix affects you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea,
trouble sleeping, and unusual dreams. ♪ it feels wonderful. i don't smoke. i don't smoke. [ male announcer ] talk to your doctor to find out if chantix is right for you. learn about the chantix challenge. chantix may not work for everyone. if you aren't quit after 12 weeks, we'll refund your cost of trying it. learn more at chantix.com. it's more gradual, subtly self-confident. shouldn't anti-aging be just as subtle? sculptra aesthetic. the injectable that replaces lost collagen gradually, for a naturally subtle look. and it can last up to two years. you didn't age overnight. why anti-age overnight? injection site discomfort, redness, bruising,
bleeding, swelling, bumps and delayed lumps, some with inflammation may occur that typically resolve. it's anti-age for the modern age. visit sculptraaesthetic.com. a better than expected jobs report for the month of april. 244,000 jobs were added last month, that's the most in five years. but the unemployment rate climbed higher to 9% and there were significant rises in the jobless rate for the african-american and hispanic communities. the economy added job for seven straight months, at the current rate, it will take years to recover the jobs lost during the recession. >> to get unemployment down to about 6%, over the next three years, we're going to have add about 360,000 jobs a month. >> despite the added jobs, the unemployment rate inched up from 8.8 to 9%. still ahead, president obama's approval rating gets a
major boost after the death of osama bin laden. will the enthusiasm last? plus, a woman who vanished with her husband nearly two months ago is found. we're going to tell you where. mom! [ male announcer ] you know mom. mom! [ male announcer ] we know diamonds. and with an extra 10% off storewide now through saturday, we'll make this mother's day one she'll never forget. that's why only zales is the diamond store. how about a smile? at 1-800-flowers.com, we can design an arrangement that is sure to delight. [ doorbell ] 1-800-flowers. ohh! take our "tote-ally" original, "tote-ally" mom bouquet, a stylish gift that fits her perfectly. this mother's day, don't settle for the ordinary. send a creation that's truly her. call, click or come in, and let us arrange a smile for you this mother's day, starting at $29.99. aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food. he recommended citracal. it's different --
it is msnbc saturday. i'm alex witt. half past the hour, here are the fast five headlines. pakistani officials say the u.s. wants the names of pakistan's top intelligence operatives. it is part of an effort to find out if pakistani agents had any contact with osama bin laden during his time hiding in pakistan. in tennessee, areas along the mississippi river are bracing for flooding as river waters reach the major flood stage level. as a result, residents along the banks may have to evacuate. in spain, golfer seve ballesteros died today due to complications from a brain tumor. he was 54. authorities in kenya have discovered a ton and a half of elephant tusks at the country's main airport. sniffer dogs led police to the
illegal ivory found in medical containers but no arrests have been made. and the homeless ohio man with a golden voice, going back to rehab. ted williams says he's ready for real recovery. his manager says williams is going back to rehab for emotional issues, not drug issues and those are your fast five headlines. president obama completed what some have called a victory lap following the death of osama bin laden, speaking to roughly 2,000 troops at ft. campbell, kentucky. he spoke about the significance of finally getting the world's most wanted terrorist. >> i came here for a simple reason to say thank you. on behalf of america. this has been a historic week in the life of our nation. >> maggie haberman is a senior reporter for politico. thank you for joining us. we know the president has said it has been a historic week for america, big week for him as well.
give me a score or grade, however you want to describe it, in handling the targeting and killing of osama bin laden. >> in terms of the handling and killing, hard to give him anything other than an a. this was an important thing for the country. democrats and republicans are in complete agreement on this. where he is has not gotten an a and a much lower grade is how this has been handled since then. there has been conflicting details two different presence conferences, one with john brennan, one with jane carney, offering different cribbing reports about what happened in this takedown of bin laden. that is not great for the president. >> do you think that was done, though, because of the appetite of the media to get this information out? is that what it is all about? >> i think that's pardon of it. there was an attempt by the white house to try to control the narrative. but you do need to have the facts. this was not a lengthy operation. it was about 40 minutes. so i think that while, you know, they get huge points for what actually happened, there have been some unflattering headlines. that said, most people want
remember that, they'll remember that bin laden is dead. >> as a result, the new york times/cbs news poll shows his approval jumped up. as we look ahead to 18 months or so from now, does this give him a long-term boost ahead of the elections? >> it helps with the confidence numbers and concerns that the president seemed like something of a foreign policy nafe. this helps him toward that underlying argument. in terms of the long-term benefits, i think it is too early to tell. there is little question this election is going to ride heavily on the economy. that's what the republicans have been hitting him on for days, even this week. that's what will continue and there is no clear answer whether this gives him a bump in that area. >> president bush 43 kept a low profile this week. his former administration aides weighed in, specifically about his policy on waterboarding. will kobama's policy be a key point for republicans to criticize him on because there
is evidence to suggest that information as a result of waterboarding is what led us to the killing of osama bin laden. >> i think there is no question you're going to continue hearing the president hit on this. i saw a report where andy card, president bush's former chief of staff, was accusing the current president of chest thumping, suggesting that tactics their administration came up with were key here and this is something that they should be getting credit for. you will see republicans continue to hit this. it will be a huge problem, i think, for the president next year when he has one opponent, when it is many opponents, but this will be something these deal with in debates. >> you say the actual incident of going after osama bin laden, the president gets an a. in the couple of days since it has been questionable. how about his trip to ground zero? he did not want to use that in any sort of exploitive way of the moment, but he needs to politically take credit for this. so did he toe the line appropriately there? >> i think he did. there was some concern among
democrats and supporters of the president that perhaps the efforts to keep the focus on this are going a little long. that having been said, the majority of family members of relatives of people who died on 9/11 who he met with were overwhelmingly supportive about his trip, about that moment and about what it meant to them. i think as long as he has that kind of feedback this was a success for him. >> okay, maggie haberman, senior reporter with politico. you're welcome anytime. thanks. coming up, we'll look at who may become the new leader of al qaeda. coming up tomorrow on "meet the press," david gregory will speak with tom donlan. an intense situation in memphis, tennessee where residents are being asked to evacuate their homes now because of rising mississippi river. 2800 homes and businesses are in the flood threat zone. some of those are already flooded. jay gray is live in memphis for us. good morning, jay. what is the situation like there. >> reporter: good morning, alex. to give you some perspective on that, i'm standing in the middle
of field street in downtown memphis with part of the mississippi river. it washed over its banks and into this area. conditions even worse in some neighborhoods. suburban memphis neighborhoods as you talked about, entire communities swallowed by the floodwaters. more than 300 people are already in area shelters, more than a thousand yesterday were warned by emergency officials going door to door that they needed to get out and move to higher ground. as you talked about, close to 3,000 homes are in the danger zone here. and the concern is, alex, that things are only going to get worse. we're not going to see it crest until at least wednesday. and that will be at a near record of 48 beats. so a bad situation getting even worse here. >> yeah. and in terms of evacuations, that area of beale street goes toward the river. so it there anything in terms of evacuations there or not? the place where the restaurants and the jazz clubs, that's up the street a ways from there, right? >> well, it is just a block and
a half or so from here. it is supposed to work like this. barbecue on that side, river on that side. the river is not playing by the rules. they closed a bunch of the parks here, closed a bunch of the areas. no evacuations in the downtown area. and they believe things will be safe here. it is kind of up on a hill, up on a bluff, as you know. it looks like downtown will fare okay. they had to move what was a barbecue cook-off in one of the parks here to another park up on higher ground. and there is an nba playoff game downtown tonight. that will go on as planned. but everyone watching and waiting and very concerned about what comes next. >> time to go before it gets to the absolute crest. jay gray, thank you. more rain is expected across the country this weekend. nbc nolmeteorologist bill karin has the national forecast. >> good saturday to you, alex. we're watching the mississippi river with the flooding, heavy rain in missouri, a lot of people curious about the kentucky derby forecast, run for the roses.
let me break down the forecast, a little tricky. around the country, the biggest area of rain, we have two of them, one with some showers and thunderstorms rolling through missouri and more rain back up through idaho and montana. it is that area of rain in missouri and illinois, that little weak storm system that will blow through kentucky there in the day today. so we do expect some wet weather at the track. the key is the timing of that rain. you can see it back, just south of st. louis and southern illinois. the heaviest of the rain will miss the louisville area, but there will be showers in the forecast. you're future cast, if you watch the clock, this is eastern time. we're central time in louisville. right around the -- there were 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., showers rolling through for the beginning of the race card but then we get the break. the race doesn't go off until 5:24 local time, 6:24 east coast time. it looks like by that time the race goes, a lot of that wet weather should be south of the louisville area. the forecast, i'm only going to call for a 30% chance of showers. most showers will roll through before the race. i think the track should be okay. that's on nbc sports from 4:00
to 7:00 east coast times. a chance of showers and storms through many areas of the northern half of the country. the southern half of the country looks great. and mother's day, not bad. watch out for a few showers and storms from the carolinas, d.c. and also in the northern rockies. but as we go throughout the weekend, alex, doesn't look like anyone is going to get washed out. pretty nice spring forecast. >> bill cairns, thank you for that. seven weeks after a canadian couple vanished on their way to vegas, we now know why they never made it. hunters spotted their van yesterday stuck in mud on a logging road in a remote part of northeastern nevada. they saw 56-year-old rita chretien now recovering from the ordeal in which she lived off water and trail mix. but the fate of her husband remains unknown. three days after they got stuck, he set out on foot to find help and he hasn't been seen since. what a nightmare. coverage of the death of osama bin laden continues. we'll look at who could become al qaeda's new leader. will that person ever possess the power of bin laden?
now you can brew over ice for delicious iced coffee or tea. hot or cold, keurig is the way to brew everyone's favorite cup in under a minute. choose. brew. enjoy. keurig. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris, to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. i tossed those allergy symptoms out of my party. [ man ] omnaris. ask your doctor.
she loves him, he loves her. they decided to get hitched. paul mccartney is newly engaged after a four-year courtship. no word on whether they'll get married or how he -- when they're going to get married, how he proposed. in a bit, we'll bring you more on this story making some huge headlines across the pond. gas prices are holding steady at just under $4 a gallon this morning. aaa says the average cost for regular unleaded is $3.98 a gallon. so far this year, gas prices have jumped about 30% and it is not just gas that is jumping. food prices are also up -- i
love your silver linings you try to spin on things. >> so often i'm talking about bad news. it is nice to have good news for once. >> what is behind, first of all, this 30% spike we have seen all year and why do we think it might be coming down. >> that's not surprising. it is everything we have been seeing happening in the middle east. we're in sort of a stalemate situation in the middle east now. and it does not look for the moment that as if this is going to spread to saudi arabia, all the unrest over there. that's been the really biggest question mark. and concern about that is one of the things that put this so-called fear premium into the price of oil. so we saw oil go as high as $113 and now it is back under $100. it is probably not going to fall much more than that. and if things don't change, it will probably stay around -- between 100 and 105. that's enough to bring gas prices down. even over the summer. >> do you have a when because it is -- we always see, wow, the price of oil has gone down, how about price of gas being
reflected that way as well. >> the lag is two to three weeks. but it depends what oil does. we're used to this idea that gas prices go up in the summer. what happened this year as refiners have actually brought on more capacity, everybody is thinking, like, well, the economy is picking up, we need to get more gasoline into the system, and this new capacity may actually be for gasoline, for gasoline now, may be the thing that helps moderate gas prices. there is a little shortage of capacity which was one of the factors driving gas prices up. so we may not see gas prices on average hit that $4 threshold, which is very close to right now. they start to drift down. >> that's awesome. what about the food prices. you think that may be a more temporary spike? >> yeah, the factors that have been driving food prices up are temporary. bad weather in parts of the world, a weak harvest. energy is a big factor because it takes a lot of energy and fuel to process food, harvest it and transport it. so as a price of energy comes
down, if it does, that will definitely be reflected in the price of food and, again, that could take a couple of months before that starts to filter through. one other factor here, alex, the global economy is not going gangbusters now. it is strong in some parts of the world but still tepid in europe and the united states. if the economy were really heating up, then demand for these things would be going up by more, but we were seeing sort of tepid demand at this point in some places. so that is going to be a factor that will create a little slack. >> is there a silver lining to the housing mess? >> there is. home affordability is terrific. it is -- i mean, the national association of realtors started measuring this 14 years ago and it is the lowest it has ever been by that measure. prices have fallen by so much and interest rates are throw. home prices are not going to bounce up anytime soon. interest rates may start to go up, about up that means as people are more able to get loans over the next year or two, that could be a big factor that helps housing recovery.
>> there is such a glut of homes on the market. >> sooner or later, buyers will say i got to get into this market because it is so affordable. >> rick, thank you. with huge parts of the midwest under water as we have been showing you, it seems like a cruel twist of fate that not all that far away there say severe drought going on making life hard for everyone and everything. here is janet shamlian with the story. >> reporter: this is the sound of a thirsty texas. so brown and baron that ranchers like roger mcgony are having to provide feed for their cattle at great expense because there is nothing to graze on. >> we have been in business since 1971 and we have never had an april like this, never. and may is starting off the same way. >> more than a quarter of the state is in what is called exceptional drought, most severe category. and it has grown worse over the past six weeks. the red and dark red showing the hardest hit areas, not just in texas, but throughout the region. but the lone star state is the
epicenter, fields parched, withering and bone dry. >> i've never seen it like this. >> reporter: tommy merchant works for the u.s. department of agriculture. >> it is just crunching below our feet and everything and you can just look right here. these cracks in the ground, we shouldn't have this time of the year. this is our wet season. >> reporter: these fields will yield no corn and be plowed next week to be used for feed. mcgony will plant cotton, but is not optimistic. >> we have to plant it in the next two to three weeks for the insurance purposes. and then if it doesn't rain, it will be, you know, it will be a total loss. >> reporter: financial losses are hard to predict. they're expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. >> it is extraordinarily dry at this point. the crop losses are going to be tremendous and we probably won't see a change in the pattern because these droughts become self-reinforcing. it is unlikely that much changes in the summer. >> reporter: with no sign of desperately needed storms, drought rains in a region yearning for relief.
>> those wildfires ravaging the state burned 2 million acres so far. our thanks to janet shamlian there. in lehigh acres, florida, love hurts, at least for the owners of one vacation home. you see, someone spray painted a marriage proposal on their garage. >> then there is a response, yes. i mean, you know, she had to be like right there with the -- okay, here, your turn. i feel sorry for them because if they get married, you know, they're going to have problems. >> that's one way to look at it. the vandalism didn't stop with the spray paint. they drove a car into the couple's garage. so far police have no leads in this illegal marriage proposal. don't know what to give her this mother's day? how about a smile? at 1-800-flowers.com, we can design an arrangement that is sure to delight. [ doorbell ] 1-800-flowers. ohh! take our "tote-ally" original, "tote-ally" mom bouquet,
a stylish gift that fits her perfectly. this mother's day, don't settle for the ordinary. send a creation that's truly her. call, click or come in, and let us arrange a smile for you this mother's day, starting at $29.99. with olay challenge that and give drastic measures a rest. new regenerist night elixir gently resurfaces for the smooth skin of a light chemical peel. sleep tight. regenerist, from olay. the healing power of touch can be even more powerful. with precise pain relieving cream, from the makers of tylenol.
information collected at bin laden's compound shows he was in contact with senior members of the terror network. the documents suggest he gave strategic directions to al qaeda affiliates in somalia and yemen. new reports this morning about a failed u.s. drone attack targeting radical cleric anwar al awlaki in yemen. both yemeni and u.s. officials say al awlaki was not hit. joining me is retired colonel and analyst jack jacobs. good morning to you. clearly the u.s. on s on it with this drone attack continuing the fight against al qaeda there. but -- tell me about this man, al awlaki. is he seen as a successor to bin laden? >> possibly. a real fire brand. of course he got out of the united states. it is -- al qaeda is a very fragmented organization. and so -- he might very well be in charge of one of the most significant parts of it down in yemen and in -- east africa.
a lot of recruitment and trending that takes place over there. but right now with -- osama bin laden gone, the flagfragmentati osama's second in command, zawahiri. >> with regard to the u.s. having requested names of pakistani intelligence officials, they say who may have had -- want to find out if anybody had knowledge of bin laden hiding there. >> we know they did. >> well, we -- okay. so -- if you know they did, is there a way to get that information for the u.s. to speak with them directly or is that just not going to happen? >> that's interesting. i think the -- cache of materials and information we got on site, all that intelligence about which -- probably going to hear later on when the pentagon has a press briefing is vitally
important, we have a problem with pakistan. the pakistanis are complicit in harboring al qaeda and they facilitate al qaeda, recruitment takes place inside afghanistan. they are not going to offer up anybody except a mid level, low-level bunch of people perhaps as bait to get us off the track. at the end of the day they are going to complain bitterly about our operating in their area but they are not going to be cooperative about giving us major operatives inside pakistan. we will know who they are because -- we have the information, intelligence on site. >> did you mentioned that news briefing from the pentagon we are supposed to have later, if that happens and air able to carry it live we will do so. what kind of information do you think will be released and should be released? there is a difference. >> at the moment, there shouldn't be any information released. nothing specific. and my guess is that they are going to talk generically about the kinds of things found. maybe the numbers of computer
towers, number of hard drives, thumb drives and that sort of stuff. generally what kinds of things is in the -- in the data we have, don't forget lit take a long time to decode a lot of this and translate it. it has to do with operatives inside pakistan and other places. has to do about finances in the flow of cash. which init doubtedly does. the whole purpose of this is to get operatives all around the world starting to run for cover. as soon as they do they will make mistakes and we will get someone. >> we will see you again soon. as our coverage of osama bin laden's death continues, we are going to look at just how active he was in trying to plan more terrorist attacks as he was hiding in pakistan. plus, now that bin laden's gone, are we any safer? ♪ sometimes i feel like... mom! ♪ i know i can count on you ♪ sometimes i feel like saying... ♪ mom!
mom! [ male announcer ] you know mom. we know diamonds. storewide now through saturday, we'll make this mother's day one she'll never forget. momma! [ male announcer ] that's why only zales is the diamond store. from body and bath shops? with olay get what you love at half the price with new olay body collections, tantalizing fragrances and olay moisturizing ingredients that transform lathering into lavishing. olay body collections.
you can turn ordinary chicken into luscious, delicious, and scrumptious. with recipes from campbellskitchen.com, and campbell's cream of chicken soup. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.